Sayida a role model for determination.

From being a 15 year old struggling to make ends meet, Sayidha is now a role model to her family.


Sayidha walked up to the microphone to give the vote of thanks to a hall filled with people. As soon as she began to speak, her mother, sitting in the corner of the group broke into tears of joy. She could not believe that her daughter who she could afford to educate only till the fifth grade was now addressing a huge audience in English with the poise and confidence of a young career woman.

Sayidha has been through a difficult life after losing her father at the age of five. At the age of 15 she began work as a garment factory worker earning 1500 rupees to support her mother in bringing up her brother and sister. Her relatives however did not support Sayidha’s work as they felt women should not be allowed to work outside the premises of their household. Sayidha’s was determined to improve the life of her family and continued work and kept looking out for opportunities to grow her career.

On recommendation by a neighbour Sayidha approached Unnati for training. To Unnati she was seemingly uneligible. She knew no English and had not completed her 10th grade but, Sayidha’s determination held promise. She joined the 14th batch of Unnati Retail course and followed the programme with great diligence over the next 70 days. Sayidha found support in the class environment where she says, “I received a lot of encouragement from the teachers and my fellow students who soon became my friends.”

During placement interviews, Café Coffee Day was so impressed with her outlook and communication skills and quickly recruited her with a strating salary of 4,500 rupees. She now handles the accounts of the outlet and reports on daily activities to officials. She continues to learn more skills, taking Tally classes after work. In the night she teaches her brother English the same way she was taught in Unnati.

Sayidha has now become a role model in her family. “My Uncle who was opposed to me working since he felt it was not good for women to work, is now asking me to advice his daughter and help her stand on her own feet!”


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